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Old November 8th, 2010, 09:40 AM   #201
quashlo
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"Tsubame" name to disappear from 800 series trains
http://www.asahi.com/kansai/travel/n...011060008.html

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The word "Tsubame" ("swallow") written on 800 series Shinkansen trains will disappear before the opening of the full length of the Kagoshima route (Hakata — Kagoshima Chūō) of the Kyūshū Shinkansen next spring.

The 800 series debuted when the first section of the Kagoshima route opened for service. The name Tsubame was chosen to make the service "easier to understand for passengers," but after the opening of the full length of the route, the trains will also be used on the high-speed Sakura services.

If the name Tsubame remains, it's only bound to be a major complaint for passengers who find the system "difficult to understand." JR Kyūshū president Karaike Kōji remarked, "Because it's so confusing, we won't give our Shinkansen rolling stock names anymore."

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Old November 8th, 2010, 09:41 AM   #202
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800 series Tsubame enters Hakata Station for the first time
http://www.nishinippon.co.jp/nnp/item/205297

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As part of trial runs on the Kyūshū Shinkansen's Kagoshima route, set to open in its entirety on March 12 of next year, the new 800 series trains that have been in use on Tsubame services on the first phase of the line between Shin-Yatsushiro and Kagoshima Chūō entered Hakata Station for the first time on the early morning of October 23.

After departing Kumamoto General Car Yard (Kumamoto City) late on the night of October 22, the Tsubame train traveled at 120 to 160 kph, arriving at Hakata Station at 2:00 am on October 23, gliding into Platform 11, which will become a Kyūshū Shinkansen-only platform.

Officials from JR Kyūshū and the Japan Railway Construction, Transport and Technology Agency (JRTT) checked the space between the train and the platform, signal visibility from the operator's seat, and other concerns. After about 25 minutes, the train reversed direction back to the car yard in Kumamoto.

Right up until the arrival of the Tsubame train, a new N700 series train to be used on Mizuho and Sakura through-services with the San'yō Shinkansen was also stopped at one of the platforms at Hakata Station as part of a separate test run. It's clear that preparations for the opening of the line are underway.

After the opening of the full length of the line, the Tsubame trains will be used for local services between Hakata and Kagoshima Chūō, as well as on some of the express Sakura services running on the same section. The trial runs are slated to last until mid-November.
Window view from 800 series Kyūshū Shinkansen, Kagoshima Chūō to Shin-Yatsushiro. This section is basically one tunnel after another...
Source: seigen120kaihin on YouTube

Part 1: Kagoshima Chūō to Sendai



Part 2: Sendai to Shin-Yatsushiro

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Old November 8th, 2010, 09:42 AM   #203
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N700 series Sakura enters Kagoshima Chūō for the first time
http://www.asahi.com/national/update...010160027.html

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The new N700 series trains to be used on Sakura services on the Kyūshū Shinkansen when the complete line opens on March 12 of next year reached JR Kagoshima Chūō Station (Kagoshima City) for the first time in the early morning of October 16.

The event was a test run to confirm that the clearance with the platform and the door locations were constructed to the original design specifications. The train arrived at the platform at 2:46 am, its headlights cutting through the darkness. Taking about an hour to move in and out of the platforms, workers used rulers to measure the gap with the platform. After moving in and out of all three platforms and taking measurements, the train returned to Kumamoto General Yard (Kumamoto City).

The new N700 series trains are eight cars, two cars and about 50 m longer than the current 800 series Tsubame trains.

Miyazaki Masazumi, chief of JR Kyūshū's Kagoshima Office, was filled with emotion: "I feel like the faint blue tinge of the train matches with Kagoshima's ocean and sky. Kyūshū now has its north-south axis. With Hakata only an hour and 20 minutes away, the railway map (of Kyūshū) should change dramatically."
asahi.com footage of N700 Sakura testing at Kagoshima Chūō (2010.10.17):

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Old November 8th, 2010, 09:43 AM   #204
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N700 series Sakura tour: Part 1

These are new sets purchased for the San'yō / Kyūshū Shinkansen through-services based on the N700 series originally developed for the Tōkaidō / San'yō Shinkansen, and are officially designated as the N700-7000 (JR West) and N700-8000 (JR Kyūshū) series. However, these are only eight-car sets. Other major changes include making all cars powered—the N700 series sets for the Tōkaidō / San'yō Shinkansen were 14M2T formations, but these new sets are 8M formations to cope with the 3.5% maximum grades between Hakata and Shin-Tosu and south of Shin-Yatsushiro.

A total of 29 units will be manufactured, 19 for JR West (the "S" sets) and 10 for JR Kyūshū (the "R" sets) for a total of 232 cars. Seating capacity is 546 pax. Car No. 6 is a bit strange in that it is a split green car (first class car) and regular car.

First a comparison of older and newer N700 series trains, passing Shin-Kurashiki Station. Personally, I prefer the paint scheme on the Sakura sets, but for thrill factor, the older 16-car sets are hard to beat.


Source: seirankai on YouTube

Arriving at Hiroshima on a test run:


Source: pikarail on YouTube

Arriving at and departing Okayama on a test run:


Source: seirankai on YouTube

Walkthrough of one set during an open house event at Kumamoto General Car Yard, with bonus shots of the maintenance shed and an 800 series Shinkansen:


Source: Sukasen on YouTube
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Old November 8th, 2010, 09:44 AM   #205
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N700 series Sakura tour: Part 2

Now, some pictures.

First set focuses on the exterior of the train.
Source: http://ameblo.jp/maimai24/

N700-7000 series, JR West unit S6. This and the upcoming shots were taken at Hakata General Car Facility on 2010.10.17.



Side destination signs are full-color LED, especially useful given the various types of services. The pink represents the color of cherry blossoms, the namesake of the Sakura service.





The base color of the paint scheme is shira-ai (white-blue), while the beltline is a combination of koi-ai (deep blue) and gold. Although the train is based mostly off the N700 series, renowned designer Mitooka Eiji, who has had a hand in a great number of JR Kyūshū's train designs, also oversaw the design of these units. I quite like the design and think it puts the original N700 sets to shame...



Side-by-side with a 700 series, the difference is quite clear.



Passing Shin-Yamaguchi on the San'yō Shinkansen.

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Old November 8th, 2010, 09:45 AM   #206
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N700 series Sakura tour: Part 3

Continued:
Source: http://ameblo.jp/maimai24/

N700-8000 series R2 unit, a JR Kyūshū unit. These shots were taken at Sendai Shinkansen Car Yard on 2010.10.16.





All-flat sides to reduce air resistance. This is Car 7, one of the two pantograph cars.



The simple logo mark, which contains the names of the two railway companies (and the two areas), West Japan Railway Company (JR West) and Kyūshū Railway Company (JR Kyūshū). The N700 series was the first Shinkansen to adopt hoods that completely seal off the gap between cars, reducing air resistance. We also get a good view of the yaw dampers in between the cars.



Bogies are a bolsterless design and covered to reduce air and running noise.



Departing Kumamoto General Yard to conduct test runs on the mainline. Nice to see a roof that's spotless.



Testing near Shin-Ōmuta on the Kyūshū Shinkansen.



A couple bonus shots.
First is from two years ago at another open house event. This is a JR West unit.



Second, a 1:20 scale model, along side a Hikari Rail Star and a 500 series.

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Old November 8th, 2010, 09:46 AM   #207
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N700 series Sakura tour: Part 4

Now some shots of the interior.
Source: http://ekitetsu.at.webry.info/

Starting off with non-reserved seating, which occupies Car 1 through Car 3. Seats are in 2+3 configuration. They used two different-colored moquettes: akane-iro (rubia, or madder red) for the side with two seats per row, and hanada-iro (light indigo) for the side with three seats per row.

Unlike the clean and unadorned older N700 series, these sets adopt the wa (Japanese-style) theme of the JR Kyūshū's 800 series, incorporating natural elements such as real wood in the tables, handles, wall panels, and overhead storage areas, and each seat class uses a different type of wood. For the non-reserved seating, they used young cherry wood.







Moving to the reserved seat cars, which occupy Car 4 through Car 8. Seats are in 2+2 configuration and are wider and more comfortable. Seat moquette is a koi-natane (dark rapeseed) color in an enzan (vanishing mountain silhouette) pattern. The wooden elements in the reserved seat section are made of red cherry wood.



Last is the "green car" (first-class seats), occupying half of Car 6. Seats are in 2+2 configuration, with only 24 total green-car seats in the entire train. The seats feature a koi-ai (deep blue) moquette, complete with headrest and embedded reading lamps. The wooden elements in the green car section use old cherry wood.



Couple more shots:
Source: http://ameblo.jp/maimai24/



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Old November 8th, 2010, 09:48 AM   #208
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N700 series Sakura tour: Part 5

Other interior facilities:
Source: http://ameblo.jp/maimai24/

Multi-function toilet



Multi-purpose room. The seat can unfold into a bed for people who get dizzy or start feeling sick and want to lie down. Mothers can use the room to breast-feed or people can come to change clothes.



Smoking room



Powder room, complete with full-height mirror



Washroom



Bonus shot is a comparison to the 800 series interior.
JR Kyūshū has been at the forefront of innovative train designs in Japan, but it's nice to see some of those elements make their way into more mass-production-type trains like the N700.

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Old November 8th, 2010, 09:49 AM   #209
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N700 series Sakura tour: Part 6

Final set:
Source: http://zero070707.exblog.jp/

Much of Car 5 houses the passenger amenities, including the powder room, one of the train's four unisex restrooms, one of the train's four men's restrooms, and the women-only restroom. The washroom is also visible on the right.







Green car seats come with all the tricks, including radio and automatic controls for the legrest and seat back. The floor of the green car features a goldish-brown carpet printed with a flower arabesque pattern, matching the seat moquettes.

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Old November 8th, 2010, 10:12 AM   #210
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Great update!
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Old November 8th, 2010, 10:24 AM   #211
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What shall the fastest direct train time be Shin-Aomori-Tokyo?
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Old November 8th, 2010, 12:14 PM   #212
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best updates ever
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Old November 8th, 2010, 12:23 PM   #213
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chornedsnorkack pls reform your questions! they are annoying.

quashlo, thanks heaps! you've got great updates good to see all in english too. the new sakura is designed really well for any train!
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Old November 8th, 2010, 04:26 PM   #214
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chornedsnorkack View Post
What shall the fastest direct train time be Shin-Aomori-Tokyo?
The Hayabusa service will take 3hr 10 min for the route, and from spring 2013, when top speed will be raised to 320km/h, five minutes faster, at 3hr 5 min. Hayate services take 3hr 20 min.
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Old November 8th, 2010, 05:26 PM   #215
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Well, I feel that questions are appropriate and clarify omissions.

Shall there be any direct Shinkansen covering Tokaido, Sanyo and Kyushu Shinkansen to travel all the way between Tokyo and Kagoshima?
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Old November 8th, 2010, 08:51 PM   #216
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N700 looks mean. It is a beast.
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Old November 10th, 2010, 10:32 PM   #217
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Shall there be any direct Shinkansen covering Tokaido, Sanyo and Kyushu Shinkansen to travel all the way between Tokyo and Kagoshima?
No current plans, although there were some in the past and it is entirely possible to do so now with a bit of work. Infrastructure-wise, they would just need to physically connect the tracks and get some new rolling stock that are compatible at both 50 Hz and 60 Hz electrification… JR Kyūshū, JR West, and JR Central all use 60 Hz, but JR East uses 50 Hz. The article below is a good summary of the history surrounding the original through-service plan.
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Old November 10th, 2010, 10:34 PM   #218
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JNR's former plans for through-service between Tōkaidō and Tōhoku Shinkansen
http://journal.mycom.co.jp/series/trivia/032/index.html

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There are three island platforms for the Tōkaidō Shinkansen at Tōkyō Station. Of these Platforms 16 / 17 and Platforms 18 / 19 are a straight design, running straight into the Marunouchi Chūō Building at their north end. However, the north ends of Platforms 14 / 15 are curved to the west, and when looking at a map, we can see that they curve to follow Platforms 22 / 23 for the Tōhoku Shinkansen. How did things end up this way?

Former JNR plan is abandoned after formation of JRs
In reality, this is a vestige of plans for the Tōkaidō Shinkansen and Tōhoku Shinkansen. Platforms 14 / 15 were originally slated to be used as Tōhoku Shinkansen platforms. The reason the platforms curve was to allow them to build tracks at the north end and have Tōhoku Shinkansen trains arrive at and depart from the platforms. There were also plans to possibly run a through-service with the Tōkaidō Shinkansen in the future.

Construction of the Tōhoku Shinkansen, however, was delayed. Meanwhile, ridership on the Tōkaidō Shinkansen continued to increase, and Platforms 16 through 19 alone became insufficient to handle the demand. As a result, in 1975, what was then the Japanese National Railways (JNR) transferred Platforms 14 / 15 originally slated for the Tōhoku Shinkansen to the Tōkaidō Shinkansen instead. Plans to divide and privatize JNR surfaced later in 1982, and in 1987, the Tōkaidō Shinkansen was placed under JR Central jurisdiction.

In 1991, the Tōhoku Shinkansen would finally be extended to Tōkyō Station. However, the number of trains on the Tōkaidō Shinkansen had already reached the line’s upper limit, and given that jurisdiction of the Tōkaidō Shinkansen and Tōhoku Shinkansen had now been split across two different companies (JR East and JR Central), Platforms 14 / 15 would remain in use for the Tōkaidō Shinkansen. As a result, JR East reconstructed zairaisen (conventional line) Platforms 12 / 13 for Shinkansen use, and in order to cope with an increased number of trains, also reconstructed Platforms 9 / 10 for Tōhoku Shinkansen use. As a result, the railway needed to construct new elevated platforms for the Chūō Line, shifting the zairaisen platforms over by two.

Plans for a north-south Shinkansen didn’t just affect the platform designs at Tōkyō Station. An experimental train designed for through-service was also manufactured—the 961 series experimental train built in 1973 during the JNR days. Both the Tōkaidō Shinkansen and Tōhoku Shinkansen are electrified using alternating current (AC), but eastern Japan uses 50 Hz electrical power while western Japan uses 60 Hz electrical power. As a result, the Tōkaidō Shinkansen, which has long sections in western Japan, uses 60 Hz, while the Tōhoku Shinkansen in eastern Japan uses 50 Hz. In other words, even with the same gauge, through-service wasn’t necessarily possible. And so, the 961 series was constructed as an experimental train that could handle both frequencies and signaling systems.

After conducting trial runs on the San’yō Shinkansen and Tōkaidō Shinkansen, the 961 series was decommissioned in 1990. Currently, only the end car remains, preserved at the Shinkansen General Rolling Stock Center in Sendai. The car is painted in the color scheme of the Tōhoku Shinkansen, but from the time of its manufacture until its retirement, it was actually painted in the white and blue of the Tōkaidō Shinkansen.

In any event, the Hokuriku (Nagano) Shinkansen currently uses two frequencies: the Nagano Station end uses 60 Hz electrification, and between Karuizawa Station and Sakudaira Station, the frequency switches from 50 Hz to 60 Hz. Trains used on Asama services are designed to be able to operate on both the 50 Hz and 60 Hz sections, incorporating the findings of the 961 series experiments. Currently, it is technologically possible to have a through-service between the Tōkaidō Shinkansen and Tōhoku Shinkansen.

Looking north from Platform 23 at Tōkyō Station. Just ahead of Platform 14 is the Tōhoku Shinkansen.


The 961 series experimental train, preserved at the Shinkansen General Rolling Stock Center in Sendai.


I volunteer to be JR’s English translator… I won’t even ask to be paid.
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Last edited by quashlo; November 10th, 2010 at 11:41 PM.
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Old November 10th, 2010, 11:40 PM   #219
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Women become train operators, conductors

Traditionally women have been train attendants, selling food, drinks and other items on trains… But more and more are becoming train operators and conductors, joining a field that has traditionally been the domain of men. Here’s a few videos.

Hisanaga Kaori (27), a female Shinkansen operator now famous after this TV program. Follow her on a 700 series Hikari run on the Tōkaidō Shinkansen from Tōkyō to Shin-Ōsaka. Departure times are measured in seconds (13:33:15 for her run), and she keeps a pocketwatch on the dashboard to help her keep track of time. She actually leaves 20 seconds late but carefully manipulates the train’s movement, regaining the lost time before arriving at Shinagawa. There are also some clips of the “top-secret” command center. Enjoy!


Source: yubarimelon on YouTube

Female Shinkansen crew at Shin-Ōsaka. The first scene is actually the same operator as from the TV program.


Source: Dotaku on YouTube

JR Shikoku’s first female operators


Source: yayomoku on YouTube
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Old November 10th, 2010, 11:42 PM   #220
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MY FIRST AOMORI CMs

This is JR East’s CM campaign for the opening of the Tōhoku Shinkansen extension to Shin-Aomori. Stars Miura Haruma, an idol / actor. Theme song is by artist Makihara Noriyuki.

Miura plays a budding stationmaster from Tōkyō who helps oversee a small rural station in Aomori. He eventually falls in love with a local girl (played by Kishimoto Mai, who was selected through a prefecture-wide audition) and gets promoted to duties at the new Shin-Aomori Station. Famous actors born in Aomori make cameo appearances, including Yoshi Ikuzō (Miura’s boss), Izumiya Shigeru (Shin-Aomori Station stationmaster), and Arai Hirofumi (Miura’s co-worker at Shin-Aomori).

Part 1: “Tōkyō”



Part 2: “Crush”



Part 3: “Nebuta” (a famous festival in Aomori)



Part 4: “Izakaya



Part 5: “Shin-Aomori Station”



There’s a whole slew of other CMs here:
http://www.jreast.co.jp/myfirstaomori/cm/index.html
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